wa, fa, and questions about pronunciation

Trevor & Julie Peterson spedrson at netzero.net
Thu Dec 21 04:29:24 EST 2000


Again, speaking out of my ignorance, I don't think Syriac (a popular dialect
of Aramaic during the early Christian period and continuing in limited use
to the present day) uses any comparable construction.  Of course, Syriac has
lost or buried a lot of elements that historically were a part of Aramaic,
so that may not be saying a lot anyway.

Trevor Peterson
CUA/Semitics

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jonathan Bailey [mailto:jonathan.bailey at gmx.de]
> Sent: Wednesday, December 20, 2000 2:43 PM
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Re: wa, fa, and questions about pronunciation
>
>
> What about the other way around? Could proto West-Semitic have had two
> particles such as those preserved in Arabic, originally fa and va
> that ended
> up becoming we and wa(y) in Hebrew? Of course I really shouldn't be asking
> this question until I know if the original pronunciation of waw was w or v
> so I can correctly phrase it. I might also want to ask if there
> was a fa and
> wa that became a ve and va(y), or a fa and va that became a ve
> and va(y) or
> a fa and va that became a we and wa(y).
>
> This is why I am asking questions about 'original'
> pronunciations. I am just
> trying to familiarize myself with the type of drifting that is being
> theorized by semitists so I can narrow down the possibilities and thereby
> narrow down the number of variant questions that I have to pose.
> I have just
> been doing a bit of thinking on this but am so ignorant of Hebrew and
> comparative semitic phonetics that I am prevented from thinking further.
>
> I guess that I am ultimately interested in bolstering the idea that the
> apocopated or relativized prefix conjugation is a different
> aktionsart than
> the regular yiqtol, and would then return to the familiar philological
> questions surrounding all those wayyiqtols that are referring to
> the future
> time. If it isn't fa+preterite, then what is it? But I am not ready to go
> there yet. I am still thinking about ve/va(y) or we/wa(y) at this
> point and
> am just interested in getting help finding out if I should be
> typing v or w
> all the time.
>
> A good question to ask would be, 'how did the masoretes pronounce it?", or
> 'what is its sound in Aramaic in various dialects at various
> times?', but at
> this time I am just interested in hearing what I can from those who know a
> lot more than I.
>
> I get the digest form of the list, so it might be that I have more answers
> than those you posed in your mail, but if not, I thought I would
> clarify my
> intentions with this reply.
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "David Stabnow" <dstabno at lifeway.com>
> To: <b-hebrew at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
> Cc: <jonathan.bailey at gmx.de>
> Sent: Wednesday, December 20, 2000 7:18 AM
> Subject: Re: wa, fa, and questions about pronunciation
>
>
> >
> > > If v is the original sound, then it  is easy to see how f would become
> v,
> > but then how would w come from from f or  v?
> >
> > English "v" is labial-dental. But it is easy to see how a *bilabial* "v"
> > could have lost its fricative element and become "w".
> >
> > Dave Stabnow
> >
>
>
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